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JAI ARJUN SINGH
WORDSMITH
JAI ARJUN SINGH

Jai Arjun Singh is an author and runs the popular cinema and books blog Jabberwock.

Literary heroes and compound ghosts
25th Mar 2012
Literary heroes and compound ghosts

The title of Pico Iyer's The Man Within My Head seems straightforward if you know beforehand that this book is about his longtime obsession with the English writer Graham Greene. Almost from the first

On good and bad comics
18th Mar 2012
On good and bad comics

Whenever I speak with friends about the recent growth of commercial fiction in IWE (Indian Writing in English), one idea recurs: that our genre writing — especially crime, science fiction and fantas

Being assertive, sotto voce
11th Mar 2012
Being assertive,  sotto voce

A few years ago, while reading a magazine article titled "Caring for Your Introvert", by Jonathan Rauch, I found myself nodding vigorously at nearly every sentence. As someone who feels discomfited if

The limits of perception
4th Mar 2012
The limits of perception

Like everyone else who saw The Artist, I loved Uggie the performing dog who plays Jack, the lead character's most reliable companion. I enjoyed the scenes where Jack mimics human reactions to various

An unsentimental, often hilarious work
26th Feb 2012
An unsentimental,  often hilarious work

In a recent piece for this paper, I mentioned the pitfalls of writing simplistically about poverty and squalor. That's relevant to a reportage-driven project, where the writer has a responsibility to

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MoreByTheAuthor
Gay, straight or crooked, can’t we all get along?
13th Dec 2014
Gay, straight or crooked, can’t we all get along?

I've always liked the idea of breaking rules, doing stuff that raises eyebrows, but suddenly I wasn't sure anymore. This wasn't like the other delicious secrets that the gang shared — this was big.

Guilt of the privileged or just shallow posturing?
20th Sep 2014
Guilt of the privileged or just shallow posturing?

Among the many carefully observed moments in Parvati Sharma's novel Close to Home is one where the protagonist, a young woman named Mrinalini, is entertaining her maid's little daughter Anjali with ca

Bibliophilia taken to its logical (insane) conclusion
31st May 2014
Bibliophilia taken to its logical (insane) conclusion

The protagonist of Gabrielle Zevin's gentle, moving novel is a man who lives, literally and otherwise, on an island. A. J. Fikry runs a bookstore — the only one on Alice Island, off the coast of Hy

The strange and elusive nature of ‘small’ happiness
21st Dec 2013
The strange and elusive nature of ‘small’ happiness

"Happiness always takes us by surprise, or perhaps it is not happiness. It is one's unhappiness diminished in size." Is this a happy book or a sad book? The question sounds trite and reductive, but i

An engaging collection with the rhythms of a train ride
30th Mar 2013
An engaging collection with the rhythms of a train ride

As a foreign correspondent frequently visiting and living in India in the 1970s and 1980s, Ian Jack spent much time covering mainstream politics and addressing the large questions ("Can India Survive?

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